- Blackwood, Algernon [Henry]
- (1869–1951).British author whose work HPL praised highly: he considered “The Willows” (in The Listener and Other Stories) the best weird tale in all literature. “The Wendigo” (in The Lost Valley and Other Stories) probably influenced “The Dunwich Horror” in its use of anomalous footprints to indicate the presence of a supernatural entity. Oddly enough, HPL did not care for Blackwood when he first read him in 1920 (see HPL to the Gallomo, [January] 1920; AHT); but when HPL read “The Willows” in an anthology in late 1924, he was convinced that, despite his unevenness, Blackwood was among the leading authors of supernatural fiction, particularly in his suggestions of cosmicism. Blackwood was a mystic with a fascination for Eastern thought; his novel The Centaur(1911) is his spiritual autobiography. John Silence—Physician Extraordinary (1908) popularized the use of the “psychic detective”; it was imitated by William Hope Hodgson and others. Blackwood also wrote fantasies for and about children, including Jimbo: A Fantasy (1909) and The Education of Uncle Paul (1909). HPL praised Incredible Adventures(1914), a collection of four long stories, in “Supernatural Horror in Literature” and elsewhere (see, e.g., SL 5.160). Late in life Blackwood became popular on BBC radio and television.See Selected Tales (1938), Tales of the Uncanny and Supernatural (1949), Tales of the Mysterious and Macabre (1967), and his autobiography Episodes Before Thirty (1923).See Mike Ashley, “Lovecraft and Blackwood: A Surveillance,” Crypt No. 51 (Hallowmas 1987): 3–8, 14; Mike Ashley, “The Cosmic Connection,” CryptNo. 57 (St. John’s Eve 1988): 3–9; Mike Ashley, Algernon Blackwood: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1987); S.T.Joshi, “Algernon Blackwood: The Expansion of Consciousness,” in Joshi’s The Weird Tale(University of Texas Press, 1990).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.